4.1.2 Accessible Sites and Exterior Facilities: New
(a) If parking spaces are provided for self-parking by employees or
visitors, or both, then accessible spaces complying with 4.6 shall be
provided in each such parking area in conformance with the table below.
Spaces required by the table need not be provided in the particular lot.
They may be provided in a different location if equivalent or greater
accessibility, in terms of distance from an accessible entrance, cost and
convenience is ensured.
Total Parking in Lot
Req'd. Min. Number of Accessible Spaces
1 to 25 1
26 to 50 2
51 to 75 3
76 to 100 4
101 to 150 5
151 to 200 6
201 to 300 7
301 to 400 8
401 to 500 9
501 to 1000 2% of total
1001 and over 20 + 1 for each
100 over 1000
Except as provided in
(b), access aisles adjacent to accessible spaces shall be 60 in (1525 mm)
(b) One in every eight accessible
spaces, but not less than one, shall
be served by an access aisle 96 in (2440 mm) wide minimum and shall be
designated "van accessible" as required by 4.6.4. The vertical clearance
at such spaces shall comply with 4.6.5. All such spaces may be grouped on
one level of a parking structure. EXCEPTION: Provision of all required
parking spaces in conformance with "Universal Parking Design" (see
appendix A4.6.3) is permitted.
(c) If passenger loading
zones are provided, then at least one passenger loading zone shall comply
(d) At facilities
providing medical care and other services for persons with mobility
impairments, parking spaces complying with 4.6 shall be provided in
accordance with 4.1.2(5)(a) except as follows:
(i) Outpatient units and
facilities: 10 percent of the total number of parking spaces provided
serving each such outpatient unit or facility;
(ii) Units and facilities
that specialize in treatment or services for persons with mobility
impairments: 20 percent of the total number of parking spaces provided
serving each such unit or facility.
(e)* Valet parking: Valet
parking facilities shall provide a passenger loading zone complying with
4.6.6 located on an accessible route to the entrance of the facility.
Paragraphs 5(a), 5(b), and 5(d) of this section do not apply to valet
4.6 Parking and Passenger
4.6.1 Minimum Number.
Parking spaces required to be
accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.6.2 through 4.6.5. Passenger loading
zones required to be accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.6.5 and 4.6.6.
Accessible parking spaces serving a
particular building shall be located on the shortest accessible route of
travel from adjacent parking to an accessible entrance. In parking
facilities that do not serve a particular building, accessible parking
shall be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an
accessible pedestrian entrance of the parking facility. In buildings with
multiple accessible entrances with adjacent parking, accessible parking
spaces shall be dispersed and located closest to the accessible entrances.
4.6.3* Parking Spaces.
Accessible parking spaces shall be at
least 96 in (2440 mm) wide. Parking access aisles shall be part of an
accessible route to the building or facility entrance and shall comply
with 4.3. Two accessible parking spaces may share a common access aisle
(see Fig. 9). Parked vehicle overhangs shall not reduce the clear width of
an accessible route. Parking spaces and access aisles shall be level with
surface slopes not exceeding
1:50 (2%) in all
Dimensions of Parking Spaces
Accessible parking spaces shall be
designated as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of accessibility (see
4.30.7). Spaces complying with 4.1.2(5)(b) shall have an additional sign
"Van-Accessible" mounted below the symbol of accessibility. Such signs
shall be located so they cannot be obscured by a vehicle parked in the
International Symbol of Accessibility
Provide minimum vertical clearance of
114 in (2895 mm) at accessible passenger loading zones and along at least
one vehicle access route to such areas from site entrance(s) and exit(s).
At parking spaces complying with 4.1.2(5)(b), provide minimum vertical
clearance of 98 in (2490 mm) at the parking space and along at least one
vehicle access route to such spaces from site entrance(s) and exit(s).
4.6.6 Passenger Loading
Passenger loading zones shall provide
an access aisle at least 60 in (1525 mm) wide and 20 ft (240 in)(6100 mm)
long adjacent and parallel to the vehicle pull-up space (see Fig. 10). If
there are curbs between the access aisle and the vehicle pull-up space,
then a curb ramp complying with 4.7 shall be provided. Vehicle standing
spaces and access aisles shall be level with surface slopes not exceeding
1:50 (2%) in all
Access Aisle at Passenger Loading Zones
A4.1.2 Accessible Sites
and Exterior Facilities: New Construction.
A4.1.2(5)(e) Valet parking is not always usable by individuals with
disabilities. For instance, an individual may use a type of vehicle
controls that render the regular controls inoperable or the driver's seat
in a van may be removed. In these situations, another person cannot park
the vehicle. It is recommended that some self-parking spaces be provided
at valet parking facilities for individuals whose vehicles cannot be
parked by another person and that such spaces be located on an accessible
route to the entrance of the facility.
A4.6 Parking and
Passenger Loading Zones.
A4.6.3 Parking Spaces.
The increasing use of vans with side- mounted lifts or ramps by persons
with disabilities has necessitated some revisions in specifications for
parking spaces and adjacent access aisles. The typical accessible parking
space is 96 in (2440 mm) wide with an adjacent 60 in (1525 mm) access
aisle. However, this aisle does not permit lifts or ramps to be deployed
and still leave room for a person using a wheelchair or other mobility aid
to exit the lift platform or ramp. In tests conducted with actual
lift/van/wheelchair combinations, (under a Board-sponsored Accessible
Parking and Loading Zones Project) researchers found that a space and
aisle totaling almost 204 in (5180 mm) wide was needed to deploy a lift
and exit conveniently. The "van accessible" parking space required by
these guidelines provides a 96 in (2440 mm) wide space with a 96 in (2440
mm) adjacent access aisle which is just wide enough to maneuver and exit
from a side mounted lift. If a 96 in (2440 mm) access aisle is placed
between two spaces, two "van accessible" spaces are created.
Alternatively, if the wide access aisle is provided at the end of a row
(an area often unused), it may be possible to provide the wide access
aisle without additional space (see Fig. A5(a)).
Parking Space Alternatives
A sign is needed to alert
van users to the presence of the wider aisle, but the space is not
intended to be restricted only to vans.
"Universal" Parking Space
Design. An alternative to the provision of a percentage of spaces with a
wide aisle, and the associated need to include additional signage, is the
use of what has been called the "universal" parking space design. Under
this design, all accessible spaces are 132 in (3350 mm) wide with a 60 in
(1525 mm) access aisle (see Fig. A5(b)). One advantage to this design is
that no additional signage is needed because all spaces can accommodate a
van with a side-mounted lift or ramp. Also, there is no competition
between cars and vans for spaces since all spaces can accommodate either.
Furthermore, the wider space permits vehicles to park to one side or the
other within the 132 in (3350 mm) space to allow persons to exit and enter
the vehicle on either the driver or passenger side, although, in some
cases, this would require exiting or entering without a marked access
consideration for any design is having the access aisle level with the
parking space. Since a person with a disability, using a lift or ramp,
must maneuver within the access aisle, the aisle cannot include a ramp or
sloped area. The access aisle must be connected to an accessible route to
the appropriate accessible entrance of a building or facility. The parking
access aisle must either blend with the accessible route or have a curb
ramp complying with 4.7. Such a curb ramp opening must be located within
the access aisle boundaries, not within the parking space boundaries.
Unfortunately, many facilities are designed with a ramp that is blocked
when any vehicle parks in the accessible space. Also, the required
dimensions of the access aisle cannot be restricted by planters, curbs or
Signs designating parking places for
disabled people can be seen from a driver's seat if the signs are mounted
high enough above the ground and located at the front of a parking space.
High-top vans, which disabled people
or transportation services often use, require higher clearances in parking
garages than automobiles.
landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990,
provides comprehensive civil rights protections to individuals with
disabilities in the areas of employment (title I), State and local
government services (title II), public accommodations and commercial
facilities (title III), and telecommunications (title IV). Both the
Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation, in adopting
standards for new construction and alterations of places of public
accommodation and commercial facilities covered by title III and public
transportation facilities covered by title II of the ADA, have issued
implementing rules that incorporate the Americans with Disabilities Act
Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), developed by the Access Board.
U N I T E D S T A T E S A C C E S S B O A R D
A FEDERAL AGENCY COMMITTED TO ACCESSIBLE DESIGN
TECHNICAL BULLETIN: PARKING
What is accessible
parking requires that sufficient space be provided alongside the vehicle
so that persons using mobility aids, including wheelchairs, can transfer
and maneuver to and from the vehicle. Accessible parking also involves the
appropriate designation and location of spaces and their connection to an
How is the minimum
number of accessible spaces determined?
construction, the minimum number of accessible spaces is determined by the
total number of spaces provided in a parking lot. If there is more than
one lot, the minimum is determined lot-by-lot, not by the total number of
Must accessible spaces
be provided in each lot or on each level of parking garages?
spaces can be provided in other lots or locations, or, in the case of
parking garages, on one level only when equal or greater access is
provided in terms of proximity to an accessible entrance, cost, and
convenience. For example, accessible spaces required for outlying parking
lots may be located in a parking lot closer to an accessible entrance. The
minimum number of spaces must still be determined separately for each lot
even if the spaces are to be provided in other lots or locations.
Accessible spaces may be grouped on one level of a parking garage in order
to achieve greater access. However, where parking levels serve different
building entrances, accessible spaces should be dispersed so that
convenient access is provided to each entrance.
Are accessible spaces
required in alterations?
alterations, the minimum number is based on the total number of spaces
altered in each lot, although it is recommended that the full number of
spaces required for new construction be provided where the opportunity to
do so exists within the planned scope of work. Accessible spaces are
required in each altered lot. However, accessible spaces can -- and should
-- be located closest to accessible entrances even where such locations
lie outside the altered area or lot.
Is the restriping or
resurfacing of a lot considered an alteration?
to the definition of "alteration," normal maintenance is not considered an
alteration unless the usability of the lot is affected. For example, if a
lot is to be resurfaced or its plan reconfigured, accessible spaces must
be provided as part of the alteration. However, work that is primarily
maintenance, such as repainting existing striping, may not trigger a
requirement for accessible spaces. Although the work undertaken may not be
technically considered an alteration, accessible spaces should be provided
where the work, by its nature, makes the addition of such spaces possible.
Is full compliance
with ADAAG required in alterations?
alterations, applicable ADAAG requirements must be met except where it is
"technically infeasible" to do so. For example, if the resurfacing of a
lot does not include regrading, it may be technically infeasible to meet
the maximum 1:50 surface slope requirement for accessible parking spaces
and access aisles due to existing site constraints. Similarly, if
providing the number of accessible parking spaces specified by ADAAG would
reduce the number of parking spaces in an altered lot below the minimum
number required by a local zoning or land use code it may be technically
infeasible to fully meet the ADAAG scoping requirement for accessible
parking. For instance, if five accessible parking spaces are required, but
the parking lot can only accommodate four accessible spaces and still meet
the local code requirement for the total number of parking spaces, then
four accessible parking spaces must be provided. However, many zoning
adjustment boards are willing to grant limited waivers on the total number
of required spaces if accessible spaces are provided.
Are accessible spaces
required in existing parking lots and facilities?
establishes minimum requirements for new construction or alterations.
However, existing facilities not being altered may be subject to
requirements for access. Title III of the ADA, which covers the private
sector, requires the removal of barriers in places of public accommodation
where it is "readily achievable" to do so. This requirement is addressed
by regulations issued by the Department of Justice. Under these
regulations, barrier removal must comply with ADAAG requirements to the
extent that it is readily achievable to do so. For example, if, when
restriping a parking lot to provide accessible spaces, it is not readily
achievable to provide the full number of accessible spaces required by
ADAAG, a lesser number may be provided. The requirement to remove
barriers, however, remains a continuing obligation; what is not readily
achievable at one point may become readily achievable in the future.
Must accessible spaces
be provided in lots where parking is assigned to individual employees or
to paying customers?
not distinguish between lots or garages with assigned spaces and those
without. Thus, in lots or garages comprised only of spaces that are leased
or assigned to employees, accessible spaces are required. However, in such
situations, policies regarding the use of accessible spaces may be
feasible so long as they do not discriminate against persons with
disabilities. For example, in lots reserved for employees only, accessible
spaces may be used by persons without disabilities when they are not
needed by employees with disabilities.
Medical Care and Other
Services for Persons with Mobility Impairments
number of accessible parking spaces is required at facilities providing
medical care and other services for persons with mobility impairments. The
term "mobility impairments" is intended to include:
the use or assistance of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device,
wheelchair or other mobility aid;
neurological, or orthopedic conditions that severely limit one's ability
and other conditions which may require the use of portable oxygen; or
that impose significant functional limitations.
At outpatient facilities, 10% of the parking spaces must be accessible.
Facilities that specialize in medical treatment and other services for
persons with mobility impairment are required to have 20% of parking
spaces accessible. Other facilities (including medical care facilities)
that do not provide outpatient services or specialized service for persons
with mobility impairments are subject only to the general scoping
requirement in the table in ADAAG 4.1.2(5)(a).
What is an outpatient
outpatient facility is part of a medical care facility, such as a
hospital's clinic or ambulatory care center that provides regular and
continuing medical treatment to patients without overnight stay. As
defined in the guidelines, medical care facilities are facilities in which
the period of stay may exceed 24 hours and physical or medical treatment
or care is provided where persons may need assistance in responding to an
emergency. Under these guidelines, the term "outpatient facility" does not
include doctors' offices, independent clinics, or other facilities not
located in medical care facilities.
Facilities and Units
Specializing in Treatment or Services for Persons with Mobility
or units that specialize in treatment or other services for persons with
mobility impairments, including vocational rehabilitation and physical
therapy, must have 20% of parking spaces accessible. These are facilities
in which the treatment or service specifically serves persons with
mobility impairments, such as spinal cord injury treatment centers,
prosthetic and orthotic retail establishments, and vocational
rehabilitation centers for persons with mobility impairments. This
requirement does not apply to facilities providing, but not specializing
in, services or treatment for persons with mobility impairments, such as
general rehabilitative counseling or therapy centers. In determining
whether a facility is subject to this requirement, both the nature of the
services or treatment provided and the population they serve should be
Do the 10% and 20%
requirements apply to employee parking spaces as well?
percentages required for outpatient facilities or those facilities
specializing in treatment and services for persons with mobility
impairments are intended primarily for visitor and patient parking. If
there are separate lots for visitors or patients and employees, the 10% or
20% requirement may be applied only to the visitor/patient lot while
accessible parking could be provided in the employee lot according to the
general scoping requirement in the chart. If a lot serves both visitors or
patients and employees, 10% or 20% of the spaces intended for use by
visitors or patients must be accessible.
If a hospital with an
outpatient unit is served generally by one lot, must 10% of all spaces be
care facilities where parking does not specifically serve an outpatient
unit, only a portion of the lot would need to comply with the 10% scoping
requirement. A local zoning code that requires a minimum number of parking
spaces according to occupancy type and square footage may be an
appropriate guide in assessing the number of spaces in the lot that
"belong" to the outpatient unit. These spaces would be held to the 10%
requirement while the rest of the lot would be subject to the general
scoping requirement in the chart. Those accessible spaces required for the
outpatient unit should be located at the accessible entrance serving the
unit. This method may also be used in applying the 20% requirement to
hospitals or other facilities where only a portion or unit provides
specialized treatment or services for persons with mobility impairments.
Are accessible spaces
required where valet parking is provided?
facilities that provide valet parking only are not required to provide
accessible spaces but must a have an accessible passenger loading zone
that is connected to a facility entrance by an accessible route. However,
it is strongly recommended that some accessible parking be provided even
if valet parking is available. Some vehicles may be specially adapted with
hand controls only or lack a driver's seat and may not be operable by an
attendant. In addition, accessible spaces must be provided if valet
service is not available during all hours of operation for users who must
sometimes retrieve or park their own vehicles.
Is the accessible
route leading from accessible spaces prohibited from being located behind
aisles must connect to an accessible route leading to an accessible
entrance of a facility. ADAAG Fig. 9, which illustrates an access aisle
shared by two accessible spaces, does not require a specific configuration
for the connecting accessible route. However, it is strongly recommended
that the accessible route not require travel behind other parking spaces
since persons who use wheelchairs are not easily visible to drivers. Where
this is not possible, the accessible route should run behind accessible
parking spaces only.
Can curb ramps be
provided within the access aisle?
maneuvering necessary to enter or exit vehicles and to transfer to and
from wheelchairs requires that all accessible spaces, access aisles, and
passenger loading zones be level, with slopes no greater than 2% in any
direction. This does not apply to an entire parking lot or level of a
parking structure but does include connecting accessible routes which
cannot have cross slopes greater than 2%. For safe transfer, access aisles
must be level for their full length. Thus, curb ramps, including built-up
ramps, are not permitted within the area -- the full length and width --
of access aisles serving either parking spaces or passenger loading zones.
Curb ramp openings must be located at the boundary of the access aisle,
not the parking space, so that the ramp is not blocked by a parked
vehicle. In addition, the required size of access aisles and width of the
accessible route cannot be reduced by planters, curbs, or wheel stops.
Does ADAAG contain
specifications for the striping of parking spaces or the designation of
accessible spaces on the surface of the parking space?
not specify the method or color in which accessible spaces are striped nor
does it require placement of the access symbol on the surface of parking
spaces. Local codes, not ADAAG, may contain requirements for the striping
of spaces, including color, and any surface decals or designations.
At what location and
height is signage to be mounted?
not include a specific location or minimum height for signs but requires
them to be placed so as not to be "obscured" by a car or van parked in the
space. Access symbols provided on the surface of the space do not meet
this requirement. Posted signage is typically placed in front of the space
but signs can also be mounted on walls or other elements that are in close
proximity to the space. Since many local codes address the height of
exterior signage, a minimum mounting height is not specified in ADAAG.
What are requirements
for the size and color of signs?
requires accessible spaces to be designated by the international symbol of
accessibility but does not address the color or size of parking signs,
which may be regulated by local code. The "van-accessible" designation is
subject to requirements for informational signage found in ADAAG 4.30 and
must comply with the specifications for character proportion (4.30.2),
height (4.30.3), and sign finish and contrast (4.30.5).
Must a sign be
provided at each accessible parking space?
requires parking spaces to be designated by the access symbol, it does not
specifically require the designation of each space. Alternatives to signs
at each space are allowed so long as spaces reserved for use by persons
with disabilities are clearly designated and distinguished from other
Is "front-in" only
parking prohibited by ADAAG?
spaces are required to be served by an access aisle which can be placed on
either side of the parking space. Drivers may pull in or back in to
perpendicular parking spaces depending on which side of the space is
served by an access aisle and whether a person with a disability wishes to
exit the vehicle from the driver's or the passenger's side. Accessible
spaces that drivers can only pull into do not afford the same level of
flexibility. ADAAG does not specifically address or prohibit "front-in"
only parking. Thus, it is recommended that where such parking is provided,
accessible spaces be designed so as to allow "back-in" parking also or
that access aisles be provided to serve each side of a space. With respect
to van- accessible spaces, it is recommended that the access aisle be
provided on the passenger side of spaces since van side doors and
side-mounted lifts are typically located on the passenger side.
Accessible Van Parking
use of vans by persons with mobility impairments has led to a requirement
for some accessible spaces that accommodate van users. Most often, vans
are equipped with a lift or ramp at a side door. According to research
sponsored by the Access Board, almost 17 feet in width is needed for the
convenient deployment and use of a van-mounted lift. ADAAG requires the
access aisle serving a van space to be at least 8 feet wide, as is the
parking space itself, for a combined minimum width of 16 feet. Since
accessible spaces may share an access aisle, a single eight-foot aisle can
serve two van spaces without additional space impact.
Minimum Number of
every eight spaces is required to have an eight foot aisle to accommodate
van users. Where spaces share access aisles, it is recommended that both
spaces served by the 8 foot aisle be designated as "van-accessible."
Minimum Number of:
1 to 8 1
9 to 16 2
17 to 24 3
25 to 32 4
33 and over 1 additional van- accessible space
for every 8 accessible spaces
spaces be restricted to van use?
required "van-accessible" designation, which should be located beneath the
international symbol of accessibility, is intended to be informative, not
restrictive, in identifying those spaces that are better suited for van
use. It should not be interpreted as restricting the use of spaces to vans
only. Additional signage may be provided recommending that cars not be
parked in van-accessible spaces unless no other accessible parking space
is available. This distinction could be particularly helpful in those lots
where only one accessible space is required, since ADAAG requires that
space to be van-accessible.
alternative to providing both accessible and van- accessible spaces,
"universal" parking spaces may be provided. Universal parking does not
require the specific designation of van spaces since each accessible space
can accommodate either a car or van. This design features wider parking
spaces that are at least 11 feet wide with standard access aisles at least
5 feet wide. The wider space allows users to park to one side or the other
of the space, which may ease transfer and travel from the vehicle,
especially when an access aisle is provided on only one side of the space.
accessible passenger loading zone is required only where passenger loading
zones are specifically designed for passenger loading and unloading. Areas
not so designed are not subject to this requirement even if, as a
practical matter, some drivers may use them for this purpose.
Both the pull-up space and adjacent access aisle are required to be level
with surface slopes no greater than 2% in any direction. Since the 2%
slope requirement applies to the entire aisle surface, curb ramps should
be located next to -- not within -- the aisle, preferably at both ends.
Further, there can be no obstructions, such as planters or street
furniture, in the access aisle area.
Why does the vertical
clearance for parking differ from that required for passenger loading
vans used for accessible transit and paratransit may have higher roofs
than those owned and used by most individuals, the minimum vertical
clearance required for passenger loading zones (114 inches) is higher than
the one specified for van-accessible spaces (98 inches). The minimum
clearance for van-accessible spaces also applies to at least one vehicular
route leading from the entrance to the space and one from the space to an
exit. Since this clearance may affect the design of multi-level parking
structures, van-accessible spaces may be grouped on one level of the
structure; providing van- accessible spaces outside parking structures
should not be considered as an alternative if equivalent convenience is
not provided. Moreover, placement of accessible spaces outside a parking
structure may be considered discriminatory if it is not part of an
integrated setting and if the same amenities of interior parking, such as
weather protection, security, and convenience, are not provided.
assistance is intended solely as informal guidance; it is not a
determination of the legal rights or responsibilities of entities subject
to the ADA.
N I T E D S T A T E S A C C E S S B O A R D
1331 F Street, N.W. Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20004-1111
800 872-2253 (v)
800 993-2822 (TTY)
fax: 202 272-0081